At $11,000, Is This 2005 Lexus LS430 'Ultra Luxury' An Ultra Good Deal?

Illustration for article titled At $11,000, Is This 2005 Lexus LS430 'Ultra Luxury' An Ultra Good Deal?
Photo: Craigslist

If luxury isn’t enough—since only ultra luxury will do—then today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Lexus may just be the car for you. That is, if its price isn’t ultra ridiculous.


Many of you found yesterday’s four-door 1990 Ford Bronco F350 Magnum to be weird—an affront to your sensibilities even. That’s apparently not the case for everyone, as these trucks have proven a popular enough niche to even warrant their own Web forum.

Of course you’re not hanging out there, combing through build threads and posting questions about N.O.S. badging resources. Not when you’ve got us to keep you busy. As such, very few of you could see a way around the Magnum’s $17,000 asking price, and the truck fell in a sizable 82 percent Crack Pipe loss. Its seller had said in his ad that he didn’t need to sell the truck, and it seemed like most of you were willing to help him not sell it.

Have you ever bought something relatively pricey from a place generally known for cheap shit? You know, something like one of those six-dollar burgers from Carl’s Jr., or a stadium suite at the Detroit Lions’ Ford Field?

Lexus offered this exact sort of experience with the introduction of the LS430 Ultra Luxury Edition. The model was made exclusive by its price—truth be told, Lexus would have filled a millipede’s shoe rack with them had enough people been willing to pony up the car’s considerable asking price.

It proved an untenable position for the Ultra Luxury to defend seeing as it was a very expensive ride offered by a company specifically created to undercut the prices of the traditional luxury car models from the likes of Mercedes, Audi, and BMW.

In the end, only a handful of people took Lexus up on the opportunity to spend over thirteen thousand dollars on top of the base LS430’s already range-topping $55,675 starting price. That up-sell made the Ultra Luxury the most expensive model Lexus had sold to date, and one that included every conceivable option available on lesser models as well as one that’s an Ultra Luxury exclusive.

Illustration for article titled At $11,000, Is This 2005 Lexus LS430 'Ultra Luxury' An Ultra Good Deal?

This 2005 Lexus LS430 Ultra Luxury comes in black on black and features all the features. Well, all but that one exclusive feature, but more on that later.


What you do get here is a slew of luxury and convenience add-ons that are impressive even by today’s standards. There’s keyless entry and engine start, which you can get on almost anything now but was pretty much Penn & Teller-level magic back in ’05. You also get: higher-end leather seating; heated and cooled seats front and rear; radar cruise control; rear seat audio controls and an ultraviolet light cabin deodorizer. And that’s just the really fancy stuff. There’s a bunch of other bits that make the Ultra Luxury the most ultra luxurious LS430 2005’s money could buy.

What’s the one feature this car is missing? That would be the Ultra Luxury-exclusive air suspension. The seller claims that to have been “troublesome” and has had the bags and struts replaced with coilovers at each corner. That’s probably something that would garner looks of shame on the Lexus LS430 Ultra Luxury forum, if such a thing exists. Alas, I don’t think any of us would be hanging out there either.

Illustration for article titled At $11,000, Is This 2005 Lexus LS430 'Ultra Luxury' An Ultra Good Deal?

The title is clean and bodywork looks to be in reasonably good shape, as does the interior. Well, that is if you can get past all the crap that’s strewn about inside in all the pictures. I know I’ve said this before, but clean your cars before you try and sell them, people! Whatever.


Power for the LS430 is provided by, imagine that, a 4.3-litre DOHC Toyota V8. The 3UZ-FE, as Toyota dubs it, is an all-alloy engine featuring belt-driven cams and VVT-i variable valve timing. In the LS it proved good for 290 smoother-‘n-goose-shit horsepower. In this class that’s a not a plethora of ponies, but when matched to Toyota’s smooth shifting six speed automatic, the 4.3 manages to move the car’s two tons from a standstill to sixty in a relatively athletic 5.9 seconds. Fuel economy and emissions are likewise laudable for such a big, V8-powered car.

The seller says that he obtained the car with 25K on the clock. It now shows 90,000 miles and is claimed to still be mechanically in “top shape.” The seller also lists a litany of updates including a timing belt replacement and a set of newish tires as enticements.


The car is not without flaw however, as the ad notes that the fancy cruise control is currently not functioning. I don’t know about you but having to hold my right foot down on some sort of pedal to keep the car at freeways speeds doesn’t sound very ultra-luxurious to me. Physical labor!

Okay, so a wonky cruise control isn’t really all that big a deal. There’s so much stuff packed into this car that it’s amazing that it and the air suspension are the only things to have gone tits up over the years.


As we discussed at the outset, the Ultra Luxury was, in its day, the most expensive car Lexus offered. Today, this one could be yours to own, drive, and hopefully vacuum for the mere sum of $11,000. That gets you more than just one lap of luxury and, this being a Lexus, probably years of enjoyment to come.

What do you think, is this Ultra Luxury worth that $11,000 hard asking? Or, is this a fancy LS that should be going for… well, less?


You decide!


Seattle, WA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to The MoJo for the hookup!

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Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.



CP for all the friggin trash in the photos.